Andy Graham adventure traveler lists the present 10 most dangerous countries of 2011 and why.
I am Andy Graham, I have traveled the planet perpetually for over 13 years and have visited 88 countries. I am presently in Ghana and will enter Ivory Coast again in a couple of days. (February 2011).
I am writing this from the perspective of a world traveler who could or would enter these countries. Note, there is no such thing as a dangerous country, there are dangerous regions or areas inside a country. This is the list of countries, that has inside of them dangerous regions. The goal of an Adventure traveler is to not accidentally enter the wrong place at the wrong time, and avoid the trouble makers.
The 10 countries listed below are countries where presently in 2011 people could visit and be involved in danger if they are not aware. Danger always increases by associating with unsavory people, entering into areas where known problems exist, and the time of day. Most travelers and tourists are safe providing they are not drunk, walking around or driving a car after 10 PM at night.
From Most Dangerous to Less:
1. Somalia, there is no government and war chiefs, who more or less rule in a mafia style are running the country.
2. Afghanistan, yes there is a war going on, it would appear to be more dangerous than Somalia, but it is occupied by USA troops which stabilizes the country.
3. Cote d'Ivoire - The situation: (Ivory Coast)
The 2010–2011 Ivorian crisis is an ongoing political crisis in Cote d'oeuvre which began after Laurent Gbagbo, the President of Cote d'oeuvre since 2000, claimed he had won the Ivorian election of 2010, the first election in the country in 10 years. The opposition candidate, Alas sane Attars, and a number of countries, organizations and leaders worldwide claimed Attars had won the election.
Why it is dangerous? It is dangerous for any white skinned person because Gbagbo wants to gag the media, and outside world from knowing what he is doing inside the country. By default, any white person in the country resembles the people he wants to keep quiet.
4. Mexican Drug Wars, this coupled with the institutionalize corruption in Mexico and the country can be dangerous. People tend to believe they can go drinking and they are not involved and they accidentally enter the wrong situation, and Mexico is good at keeping the tourist unaware of the real situation on the ground.
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo - Generally an overly corrupt country, and there is the ability of travelers to accidentally talk politics or give personal opinions that scare the powers that be. Corruption normally collects money from Traveler in the form of road blocks, then when the person rejects, it can escalate to death, or just disappearing. There are thousands of people in the world that disappear, and nobody knows.
6. Colombia, in the narco-trafficking regions of the country, this is a no man land, a place where outsider are not wanted. Colombia presently has a new wave of naive tourist who believe a whole country can be good. There are always pockets of danger, and if the traveler decides the whole country is OK foolishly, this is the recipe for danger. If a travelers went directly south from Bogotá to Leticia by land, he or she is in a dangerous area.
7. Dominican Republic - There is mass sex tourism in this country, the local gangs and the non Dominican Republic are entering into competition for business This coupled with the amount of sex tourism leads to real danger. This is almost exclusively in the area of sex tourism, such as Sosua. I was there last year, in the one month I was there, 4-6 gringo were killed. The Dominican Republic press and tourist industry hide the truth from the world.
8. Haiti, relief workers are bound and determine to mingle and try to fix a country that is not broken. This "I have the Answers NGO mentality" put this type of people in harms ways as they are working on the Earthquake disaster solutions. Note, the underdeveloped countries really do bite the hand that feeds them, giving to country does not create appreciation, it creates shame.
9. Niger, West Africa - Sub Sahara is having Islamic kidnapping gang problem in this country, and bleeds over into Mali and Burkina Faso. The French government has stated that French Citizens should leave.
10. Sudan, East Africa - This region of Africa, the Sudan / Chad area is unpredictable, there is an anti-Israel, anti anybody that supports Israel sentiment. A person can be mistaken easily of being involved as a political stakeholder working against one of the local leaders. Sudan, Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are all areas where being Christian and from the USA could be question mark in the minds of locals. Generally, the locars are going to be excited and happy to meet you. However, the one in 50 could be radically opposed to your presence.
Note: The Philippines can be an extremely dangerous country, often travelers associate with prostitutes and stay up all night drinking. This is a formula for disaster.
Who are your friends?
What time of day is it?
Where are you? Do you know the neighborhood?
People who have trouble often are driving a car, and accidentally drive into chaos and violence, please know where you are driving at nigh stay on familiar road, your life could depend on it. Public transportation is always safer than renting a car overseas.
Andy Graham of the HoboTraveler.com Travel Blog, presently in Takoradi, Ghana
Terence, I am in 100 percent agreement the USA is very dangerous in area of large cities. I am not sure how to manage this, readers generally do not listen or tune me out when I explain the USA in these terms. Since the majority of readers are from the USA and daily circumnavigate these highly dangerous areas it is less of a danger for them as a tourist. In a way, I am trying to explain the countries outside the USA that can cause people large problems if they do not stay alert.
Yep...South Philly. I drove trucks into south Philly for a while. Try Oakland and I used to work a bit in South Central L.A. as well. I have felt much safer in other parts of the world. I still have friends that go down to Mexico, just over the border regularly without issue....Man I miss those Tijuana Tacos!